French fishermen are threatening direct action to blockade the United Kingdom if they are stopped from plundering the county’s fisheries once it takes control of them back from the European Union.
Shortly before Britain joined the European Economic Community, as the European Union then called itself, the bloc changed its rules so national fisheries became a so-called “common resource” to be shared out by Brussels — a well-times move, considering the an outright majority of the fish in northern Europe were in British waters.
Norway, which was also applying to join the bloc at the time, ultimately decided against doing so due in no small part to the devastating impact they expected the measure might have on the fishing industry — but Britain’s europhile prime minister, the late Edward ‘Ted’ Heath, decided his government must “swallow it all and swallow it whole” in order to secure accession after previous setbacks in the 1960s.
The blow to the British fishing industry did indeed end up being considerable, particularly in Scotland, and was exacerbated when Spain joined the bloc in the 1990s — the the point where most of Britain’s fish is assigned to foreign countries.
Leave campaigners such as Nigel Farage have therefore long considered the return of full, sovereign control of Britain’s fisheries as “the acid test of Brexit”, and warned that any exit arrangements which fail to achieve this would not be a genuine break with the bloc.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) March 7, 2018
French fishermen, however, seem set on acting much more decisively, even lawlessly than their British counterparts to preserve the current arrangements, weighted so clearly in their favour, and to avoid a situation where they “find Belgian, Dutch and Spanish boats all crammed into French waters”.
“If there is a hard [no-deal] Brexit, I can assure you that not a single kilo of seafood or fish from Britain will get into France,” vowed Olivier Leprêtre, who chairs the regional fisheries committee for the country’s north, in comments reported by The Times.
“We would set up barricades. All the fishermen along the northern French coast will tell you the same thing,” he said.
French fishermen have previously physically attacked British boats exercising their lawful right to catch scallops in French waters — the British do receive some small share of marine stock in EU waters, although it is tiny in comparison to the amount of British fish which is given away — and appeared to suffer no legal consequences for doing so.
‘Scallop Wars’: French Boats Attack and Ram British Fishermen https://t.co/vwVMVDWqEo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 29, 2018
The fishermen appear to have the support of the French government under globalist En Marche (LREM) leader Emmanuel Macron, which appears to believe it is entitled to plunder Britain’s fisheries in perpetuity.
“There is no scenario in which French fishermen should be prevented, could be prevented, would be prevented by Boris Johnson from fishing in British waters,” declared agriculture minister Didier Guillaume in July.
“So I will keep telling Britain our fishermen must be allowed to keep fishing in its waters… I really want to fight. Our fishermen must be able to continue to go to British waters.”